Categorized | Game Previews

Preview: New England @ Chivas USA

Posted on 29 April 2011 by Hank Alexandre

New England takes to the road for the second time this week as they head out to the left coast for the 3rd time this season to take on Chivas USA.  The Goats have been struggling this season, notching only one win so far out of 6 matches.  New England has played one more game than Chivas, but has managed only one more win this season.  Both teams are struggling to find goals, and have managed the same amount of draws, so it would appear on paper that it should be a fairly even match.  However, the Revolution have added some new players which could shake up the result.  On the other hand, Chivas are coming off their first win of the season, and could be looking to capitalize on their momentum.  Here’s the break down:

GOALKEEPERS: The Revolution will probably be starting veteran Matt Reis, who has only allowed 5 goals this season and three from the run of play (thanks to some favorable calls).  Two of those three goals, however, would have to be considered fairly soft (Jewsbury, Kamara).  On the flip side he has made 20 saves this season.  Chivas keeper Dan Kennedy has had the majority of starts this season, with veteran Zach Thornton having been relegated to the bench.  Kennedy is younger and more athletic than Reis, but does not have the experience of the New England netminder. ADVANTAGE: NEW ENGLAND – Slight edge to Matt Reis – experience matters.

DEFENDERS: New England’s back four have been playing fairly well, despite some spotty play from speedy Kevin Alston (although he was much more on the ball last week).  New center back signings Franco Coria and AJ Soares are both healthy and suspension free, and have formed a good partnership in front of Matt Reis.  Didier Domi at left back adds quality into the attack and links up well with the midfield and forwards. Chivas will more than likely be without the services of team captain Jimmy Conrad and Michael Lahoud, but will still have US International Heath Pearce at either right or left back, along with Andrew Boyens and veteran MLS and Canadian defender Ante Jazic. ADVANTAGE: NEW ENGLAND -Coria and Soares presence in the box, along with Alston’s Speed and Domi’s quality will outperform Jazic and Pearce.

MIDFIELDERS: With the addition of Benny Feilhaber, the Revolution’s midfield is now a force to be reckoned with.  However, with Marko Perovic sidelined with a knee sprain, look for coach Nicol to start Kenny Mansally in a more forward role on the left flank, with  Feilhaber playing in a central role backed by Joseph and McCarthy.  Zak Boggs will likely get the start on the right side, but speedster Sainey Nyassi may come on as a second half sub.  Chivas will have Simon Elliott in midfield with the dangerous Nicolas LaBrocca and youngsters Flores and Zemanski. Flores adds some flair and LaBrocca adds to the attack, but the production out of the midfield has been limited.  ADVANTAGE: NEW ENGLAND

FORWARDS: New England’s new signing Rajko Lekic will likely be the lone forward.  With only two games under his belt, Lekic is still struggling to gel with his teammates.  However, with the addititon of Feilhaber in the midfield and his first goal of the season, he will have more confidence coming into the game this Saturday.  Chivas however are incredibly deep at forward, with Alejandro Moreno and the Argentinian Marcos Mondaini likely to get the start.  But they also have super subs Justin Braun and Mariano Trujillo available. All of these options will be a threat to the New England back line. ADVANTAGE: CHIVAS USA – With a bench like that, Chivas can look to take advantage of a jet-lagged Revolution with speed and firepower.

PREDICTION: On paper, the Revs look to have a more complete team, but Chivas have more of an attacking presence and have yet to win at home.  The Goats will be looking to come out quickly and establish an early lead, and the Revolution will have their hands full for the first 25 minutes.  In the end, the Revolution defense and midfield will prove to be a match for Chivas, but the offense will still struggle.  RESULT: DRAW 0-0

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